How to counter Caro-Kann defence?


How do you counter caro-kann by black, if you play as white?


There are many ways to play this for white; Tal variation, Fantasy variation, Alien Gambit (from Witty_Alien streamer), Two knights defense, Advanced variation, etc.

I personally play the Alien gambit and Tal variation because of it's sudden attack. You could choose any variations however.

If you use lichess, there is a very good blog recently published about this topic by an FM.

To counter the Caro-Kann Defense, gamers regularly choose the Advance Variation (3.e5) to attain house and restrict Black's options. Alternatively, the Exchange Variation (3.exd5) simplifies the function and affords White a moderate role in development. Another strategy is to play the Panov-Botvinnik Attack (3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4), aiming for fast piece improvement and management of the center. Study these strains and recognize the regular pawn buildings and plans to efficiently counter the Caro-Kann Defense.


Fischer struggled against the Caro-Kann.

He played the Two Knights Variation, 
The Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 
The Classical Variation, 
The King's Indian Attack, 
The Exchange Variation.


Most of the time people play the advance against me.


I cycle between Panov, exchange, KIA and classical depending on what I played last and how I feel.

For any of them, it is more about understanding the middle game build up in the position that results rather than memorizing theory. In 50 years, I've only had 1 short CK game as white so dont expect a knockout.

I'd suggest playing over some annotated games where white wins, pick the approach from the game where you understood the plan that was executed & go with that.

- bill


Alien gambit


Why yes, Alien Gambit is one of the lines you need to prepare for when playing Caro-Kann.

Not that anyone has so far tried to play it against me.


The first opening trap for Caro-Kann.


Commenting on here cause I also have trouble with countering the caro kann


Speaking as someone who plays the Caro-Kann with a bit a frequency as a nice break from 1) e4 e5, I do not enjoy going up against someone who plays the Panov Attack line well. I struggle terribly against that.

Bear in mind, this is one person's view, other people will likely have differing perspectives.

I'll add that going up against someone who doesn't play the Panov Attack line well allows me to get a pretty early advantage that I may or may not blunder away.


I have no idea I've been trying to figure that out for years


Another famous Caro-Kann trap (I'm looking for them).


Shirov Attack

Unkas2 wrote:

How do you counter caro-kann by black, if you play as white?

If you're looking for a vicious weapon against the caro-kann I recommend the fantasy variation. Naro has some great videos with it on his speedrun!